econ 80a lecture 8

econ 80a lecture 8 - HAYEK BASIC DISCUSSION FROM THE ROAD...

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HAYEK BASIC DISCUSSION FROM THE ROAD TO SERFDOM (through Chapter 9), followed by a brief discussion of Hayek s (and most conservatives) perspective on the essential nature of free market competition, or "why bigness is no big deal," so the speak. As is the case with Smith, Marx, and Keynes (and all subsequent authors), the book is a product of the times early 1930 and early 1940s. And like Smith, the essential question being addressed is "what is the proper role of government?" The answer is similar to Smith s as well. "The promotion of free markets, so as to allow for the greatest economic efficiency but Hayek goes farther---in arguing that a minimal, non-coercive government is a necessary condition to assure essential to human freedom and liberty---- the question will become [with critics], to what degree is this true, and whether or not such a condition is not only "necessary," but "sufficient" as well. Hayek s discussion is in an important sense a response to the success of Keynes .a success which he saw as leading the "free" world (England, U.S .) on a path already taken by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany the adoption of what might seem as a harmless form of socialism, but a path leading ultimately to the enslavement of the individual ************************************************************* TOWARDS A THEORY OF "INDIVIDUALISM" In essence, the establishment of a "set of principles" necessary in guiding society towards a solution to the vexing problems of the era--- as such, these principles are 1. implicit in Christian political tradition, and 2. strictly counter to "socialism," [as Hayek defines the term] The intellectual tradition follows in the steps of Locke, Hume, Fergeson, and "reach full fruition" in the works of Edmund Burke and Adam Smith �� ... a tradition that is in conflict with what has been referred to as "Cartesian Rationalism" (including such folks as Rousseau and Bentham ) However, TRUE INDIVIDUALISM is every bit a THEORY OF SOCIETY AS A WHOLE ..as such, the focus is hardly on the "isolated, self-contained man
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